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Making a geometrical tablecloth


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#1 ronash

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:31 PM

Hello friends,

I am unsure whether I should post it in the "Seeking Patterns" forum or this one, so please direct me if I'm wrong.

I find great interest in geometrical patterns, usually found in Medieval Islamic architecture. I find them fascinating, and can research them for hours.
Lately I've been thinking about combining my interest for those patterns with my (poor) crochet skills. What I'm thinking about is a tablecloth or an afghan designed according to such patterns.

I thought about what to try first, and decided to go with this pattern (historical fun fact: it was found in a Byzantine church in Petra, Jordan): http://i.imgur.com/J2uqH.png
As you can see, it is composed of regular hexagons, squares and triangles (well, okay, rhombuses too, but they're just spaces!). Therefore I figured that if I get the right relations, the rest will be done by itself!

My idea was either crocheting the edges alone, or the edges + filling only the areas that are black in that picture.
However I am pretty clueless as to how I am supposed to crochet that. I had some trials but they were pretty unsuccessful; I couldn't keep the relations right.


I'll be very happy for any help!

#2 Nema517

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:03 PM

It looks to me like all the black spaces are one of two shapes: an isosceles triangle and an equilateral triangle. You could draw out an equilateral triangle and then an isosceles triangle whose short sides are equal to the length of the side of the equilateral triangle. Then you could make a bunch of motifs of each one (you'd have to count them or just work them out as you go) and sew them together at the corners. If you did it this way, to construct the afghan or tablecloth, I would start in the middle and work my way around. Then for the edge you could just chain the appropriate amount between the points on the last round to hold the shape.

If you wanted to do it in two colors you could make the gray spaces as well, you would just have another motif--the rhombus (which is actually two of the equilateral triangles placed side to side). The single color will have much more white space (gaps) than the one with two colors.

Also, if you do only the edges there are really only two measurements, the length of the side of the equilateral triangle and the length of the base of the isosceles triangle. It looks that all other measurements would be multiples of these two.

Once you decide how big you want the equilateral triangle to be, you should be able to use the law of sines to determine the length of the base of the isosceles triangle (whose large angle is 120 degrees).

I think any one of those would make a beautiful tablecloth! I hope that helps. Good luck!

#3 Flia

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 04:16 AM

To me it looks as if the black spaces are empty, so the easiest would be to make grey and white triangles and hexagons and sew them together.

#4 ronash

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 05:45 AM

Thank you both for your quick and helpful replies.

First of all, I'm only planning to use one color, at least for now.

I understand that the only way to do it is to make motifs and sew them. To be honest I've never done that, so I'd have to look up how to do that. The pattern that got me thinking about combining crocheting and those patterns is this one: http://upload.wikime...loth_2008-1.jpg
I guess it is done in a similar way?

Another thing I'd have to figure out is, how to make these solid shapes? Suppose I fill in the black shapes, then I'm going to need to make equilateral and isosceles triangles, how do I do that?


Thanks again and I'm looking forward to your reply!


P.S. since the isosceles triangle has a right angle, I don't even need the law of sines; the base is exactly sqrt(2) times the other edges ;)

#5 wheat

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 06:43 AM

Geometrics and mosaics are so fascinating - like you I love them and that is probably a lot of why I so enjoy traditional quilt designs.

In my opinion, you will need to use at least two shades, plus a third for the negative (black) areas unless you are really comfortable connecting shapes.

There are two traditional quilt blocks that "jumped out" at me that could relatively easily be converted to crochet - they are usually called "Square in a Square" and the other is 6 Point Star. You will also need the joining 'patch' composed of the 4 equilateral triangles.

I think this could be an amazing piece done in three shades - either dramatically or subtly different in order to minimize work of connecting but that would be up to you (of course)

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#6 EdieEckman

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 06:17 AM

I understand that the only way to do it is to make motifs and sew them.


There's absolutely NO reason to sew the motifs together. Ack! Yuck!
You have a plan already. Since you know where the various shapes belong, just join-as-you-go on the last round of each shape. When you've finished the shapes, you've finished the tablecloth.

(Except for weaving in the ends. Another ack! yuck!)

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#7 ronash

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:08 PM

Thanks for the replies. I decided to crochet the white and the grey areas, and leave the black empty.
My first attempt was this: http://i.imgur.com/uniVo.jpg
Then I thought the reason it doesn't look good is because the motif wasn't big enough. So I made three rounds of each, and ended up with this: http://i.imgur.com/mWpBu.jpg

I'm a bit clueless now; I'm not too bothered with the fact that the triangle is pretty round, as I believe it will be fixed as I move on. I am more concerned that the triangle's sides are way longer than the hexagon's, even though I used the exact same ratios, and the number of loops on each side is equal for both polygons.